Who *are* these people who want to see me?

Giacinto Palmieri studies his ticket sales reports

For all performers, these pre-Edinburgh days are filled with hope, fear and expectation. For me this year will be the second time I bring a show to the Fringe, but last year it was free, which means I’m now experiencing a new source of torment and ecstasy: the ticket sales report.

The last time I checked, just before I started to write this, the number of tickets sold to Giacinto Palmieri Is Trying To Be Italian was 35. It might not look impressive, but given that these are the first people ever to pay to come to see my solo show I can’t help wondering who they are.

Unfortunately, the report doesn’t go into great detail. Totals are per day and per ticket type, so for instance I know that on August 13, one student has bought a ticket. Going to a show all by yourself requires some strong motivations. Is it something related to what he is a student of? Maybe of things Italian? Or is he Italian himself?

And what about that other lonely explorer, the senior citizen who booked for the 24th? Did he like the old fashioned hat on the programme’s ad? Did he feel a connection because I look no spring chicken myself? Will he mind my few swear words? Is he one of those elderly British Italophiles with a villa in Tuscany?

And what about those people who opted for the 2For1 days? Married couples? Friends? People on a date? Random people who met on some 2For1 ticket pairing website? I’m not sure such a thing exists, but if it doesn’t they should definitively create one. On the other hand, the highest number of people booking together seems to be three. Good, no stag or hen party then.

Such an obsession is hardly dignified. I should probably play the part of the jaded professional and pretend that I don’t even know the numbers. But they say it’s important to know your audience, so what’s wrong with trying to imagine it in advance? I booked tickets for some Fringe show myself and I like to entertain the idea that some of the people I booked tickets for are doing  exactly the same thing with that small numeric representation of me on their sales report.

Actually, if you need some extra motivation to book tickets for lesser-known comedian here is the perfect one. Make a difference. Don’t be a number or, at least, try to be the biggest possible ratio to that number. Put a smile on the face of a comedian’s face seeing one more little bubble forming at last in that constantly watched pot.

Still 35.

  • Giacinto Palmieri Is Trying To Be Italian is at C Soco at 17:35 during the Fringe

Published: 28 Jul 2010

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